Summary – Stretching is an important part of fitness because a proper stretching will not only make your workout better, but it will also make your muscles flexible by keeping you active and healthy. Down below are some yoga poses which you can include in your practice regularly to see the improvement.
Regardless of its recent popularity, yoga is an ancient classic practice that has its roots in Indian spiritual traditions. Whether you are new to yoga or been practicing it for a while, you should always stretch after or before a workout as it helps in relaxing your muscles. Stretching in the morning is a great way to start your day by getting some movement in your body, which will help in waking up your muscles and joints as well as your mind. Stretching requires moving the body as well as breathing deeply, which relaxes the muscles by regulating the blood circulation. Yoga poses increases your strength and flexibility level by putting your body in extraordinary positions for an extended period of time. These practices are called asanas, which can benefit your body in various ways such as it can improve your flexibility, it helps in releasing tension in your limbs, build muscle strength, helps in improving your balance and many more. Most of the favored yoga stretches vary from novice to moderate difficulty levels, which can be learned easily with the help of a certified Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh.
There are yoga stretching poses mentioned below that will help you to ease your stiff muscles, to relieve tension throughout your body and to exercise without causing any injury to the body. So, read below to dig deeper into the poses.
Yoga Poses to Help Stretch Your Body
- Downward Facing Dog – This pose works in stretching the entire body, and it is one of the most popular poses in yoga. It stretches your calves, Achilles tendons, and hamstrings while strengthening your shoulder and arms. It opens up your shoulder and chest by evenly stretching your spine. To continue with this exercise, rest your body on your knees and palms, put your hands slightly forward of your shoulder while spreading your fingers wide. Exhale as you tuck your toes while lifting the knees off the ground, press the floor away from you as you stretch your elbow by lifting your whole body upward into an upside down V-shape. When you are ready, hold the pose for at least 10-15 seconds while breathing deeply.
- Child’s Pose – Balasana is a resting pose which helps stretch your lower body as well as the upper body. This pose helps in stretching your lower back, shoulders, ankles, hips, and quads. It is a beginner pose that stretches and relaxes the muscles while promoting flexibility and helps circulation to the joints, back, and muscles. To begin with, this exercise, sit on your knees, keep your toes together while keeping your knees apart. Sit with your spine straight, take a deep breath and on an exhalation, bend forward by laying your torso down between your thighs and your arms on the floor alongside your torso and release your shoulder towards the floor.
- Plough Pose – The Sanskrit name “Halasana” an inverted yoga poses which stretches your lower back, neck, and shoulder while rejuvenating the nervous system. This pose is usually practiced at the end of a yoga session as it relaxes and calms the brain, heart, and nerves. It also helps in improving the flexibility of your spine. To perform this exercise, continue while lying straight on your back with your arms on the side and your legs extended. On an inhalation, lift your hips and legs towards the ceiling by using your abdominal muscles and gently lift your back and move your feet further away from the head. Beginners could use their hand to support their back with your arms with the hands close to the shoulder blades while resting the position for 8-10 breaths.
- Butterfly Pose – This pose is the most popular pose among beginners. The Sanskrit name “Baddha Konasana” helps in stretching your adductors, groin, and thighs. This pose helps in stimulating your kidneys and ovaries, and it also reduces menstrual discomfort. It is one of the simplest stretches, which works the most in your inner thighs. To continue with this pose, sit on the floor with your hands resting on your thighs. On exhalation, bend your knees and bring the heels close to the pelvic area while joining your sole. The next step is to drop the knees on the floor while holding the soles of the feet together with your hand. Hold the pose for 4-5 minutes, and to gain more flexibility, you could also flap your knees slowly in upward and downwards motion.
- Head to Knee Pose –The Sanskrit name “Janu Sirsasana” is a seated pose, which stretches your hamstrings, abdominal muscles, and spine. Remember to practice this asana in the morning on an empty stomach or in the evening after a gap of 4 to 5 hours from your last snack. It helps in stimulating the kidney and liver, and it also reduces anxiety and headache and cures insomnia. To perform this pose, sit straight with your legs extended forward and your hands resting on the sides. Bend your right knee by touching the heel of the feet on the center of the calf with the toes pointing up. As you inhale, bend forward by resting your forehead on the left knee while holding the toes of an extended leg. Hold this position for 8-10 breaths to energize your spine. And repeat the same pose with the left leg as well. This pose also helps in relieving knee pain.
So, for wholesome stretching, yoga is the right choice, and it also benefits your body and mind in several ways. The poses above will help you stretch and strengthen the major muscles of your body by removing the stiffness. So, start with these amazingly effective stretching exercises to see the results.
Author bio: Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He organize 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. Bipin Baloni conducts Yoga Teacher Training in India in different cities. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.